Government to expedite accession to Istanbul Convention for ATA Carnet

Relevant government agencies have concurred to the urgency of the Philippine accession to the Istanbul Convention which will implement the ATA Carnet System.

The ATA Carnet is an international scheme that will allow tax-free and duty-free importation of commercial samples, professional equipment and articles for presentation or use in trade fairs, shows, exhibitions without customs formalities. It will also allow traders to use Carnet, a single document of goods that will pass through several customs territories and will be valid up to one (1) year. Hence, traders will save costs and time in clearing goods at the border.

Relevant agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Finance (DOF) are urged to submit their respective Certificates of Concurrence (COC) to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) by December 2017.

The DFA – United Nations and International Organizations (UNIO) leads in the preparation of the Instrument of Accession for the President’s approval. Director Roberto Manalo of the DFA-UNIO who serves as the chair of the technical working group on ATA Carnet, underscored the need for government agencies to support the promotion of export development through the ATA Carnet system.

He added that this is also in compliance to the Office of the President Memorandum Circular No. 27 issued last 6 October 2017 which directs government agencies to “strengthen the implementation of the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP).” –Asnia R. Bayabao

Sigasig Caravan urges government, Educators & Industry to collaborate

The first regional education caravan to roll out the Strengthening of Industry-Government-Academe Linkage For Inclusive Growth (SIGASIG), was recently conducted in Iloilo City covering Regions 6,7 and 8.

SIGASIG caravan aims to sustain the linkage between the academe and the industries all over the country to better equip graduates with skills required by the industry. Skills matching and talent upgrading strategies to fill the gaps were discussed.  In collaboration with government and industry; curriculum should be upgraded and faculty immersion shall be pursued in industry.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Export Development Council and the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce conducted this caravan with the Iloilo Chamber of Commerce and the PHINMA University of Iloilo, as a concrete support to the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 which targets an improved global competitiveness and inclusive growth through better quality education.- Grace T. Mirasol

Philippine export sector to celebrate the 2017 National Export Congress

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Export Marketing Bureau, the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) and the Export Development Council leads the conduct of the 2017 National Export Congress (NEC). NEC is the highlight of the week-long celebration of the National Exporter’s Week (NEW). This year’s theme: “Innovate. Collaborate. Export!” aims to encourage exporters to enhance their entrepreneurial capabilities through innovation and collaboration.

Over 700 delegates including exporters business support organizations, policy makers, and academe will convene at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay Manila on 05 December 2017 for the annual NEC. The event will also have panel discussions on various topics such as expansion of the global market through innovation and addressing industry challenges through collaboration.

The NEC is the main activity of the National Exporters’ Week (NEW). The first week of December is declared as the Exporters’ Week per Presidential Proclamation 931, Series of 1996 and House Resolution 33, in order to obtain total commitment of the government and the private sector to continuously work together to sustain and maintain export promotion and development.- Piercy Kieth Cezar

BOC employees to act on documents within 5 days

Bureau of Customs officials and personnel are now mandated to take action within five (5) days of receipt of official communication from its internal and external stakeholders to facilitate processing of documents.

Pursuant to Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 24-2017, employee shall acknowledge receipt of the documents and act upon it within 5 days or refer it to appropriate office if it’s not within its jurisdiction.

The CMO rendered the affected existing Citizen’s Charters of BOC relevant offices obsolete and shall be revised, reprinted and reposted. It also provides that non-compliance of employees may be a ground for administrative and disciplinary sanctions for erring employees.

CMO 24-2017 was signed by Commissioner Isidro Lapeña last 23 October 2017 in response to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to all government agencies to expedite processing of letters, requests and permits.

It also cited the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 (Republic Act (RA) 9845),  Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards from Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713) and SONA Directive No. 2017-0010 issued by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio V. Evasco, Jr. last 7 September 2017 which directs “All Department Secretaries and Agency Heads to ensure that all Directors and its personnel in their respective agencies act on letters and requests from the public within 15 working days, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations.- Asnia R. Bayabao

Malacañang ordered stronger support to the Philippine Export Development Plan

By authority of President Rodrigo Duterte, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdia issued Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 27 “Directing all concerned Government Agencies to Strengthen the Implementation of the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) and involving other relevant agencies in the development of the export sector”.

Concerned agencies directed to collectively work, review, institute reforms, and implement all relevant policies are: DTI, DA, DOE, DENR, DOH, DOF, DICT, DILG, DPWH, DOTr, DOT, DOLE, DOST, TESDA, CHED, BSP, DFA, and NEDA. The Export Development Council (EDC) shall ensure the biannual validation and updating of the plan and oversee its implementation and coordinate the formulation and implementation of policy reforms and promotion strategies.

To ensure efficient, responsive and well-coordinated strategies, MC No. 27 involved other agencies in the development of the export sector, particularly those that can provide support to Information and Communications Technology (ICT), infrastructure, tourism, and manpower development and skills training.

For further information about the Memorandum Circular No. 27, visit the Official Gazette page at http://www.officialgazette.gov.ph
/2017/10/06/memorandum-circular-no-27-s-2017/ – Piercy Kieth Cezar

Ease of Doing Business Bill passed on Senate 3rd Reading

The Senate passed on third reading the Senate Bill 1311 or the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Act of 2017 which seeks to establish a national policy of ease of doing business, creating for the purpose the Ease of Doing Business Commission. The bill was sponsored by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, chair of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

The bill sets a new prescribed processing period under which both national and local government offices will have to process the application and communicate the decision regarding the status of the application. This period will not be longer than three (3) working days for simple transactions and seven (7) working days for complex transactions from the time the application was received. For highly technical applications, the bill prescribes a maximum processing time of thirty (30) working days.

To ensure the attainment of the objective of this Act, an Ease of Doing Business Commission will be created. The Commission shall be the policy-making body on business registration and regulatory management and shall set the overall direction for the implementation of the National Policy on Ease of Doing Business.

Likewise, the House Committee on Trade and Industry recently approved the same version of the aforesaid bill. The House of Representatives is targeting to pass the measure before its Session break on 14 October 2017. The EODB Act is certified as urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte. –Ma. Divine Grace T. Derez

DTI conducts a Roadshow to Seamless Philippine Logistics

The Department of Trade and Industry’s Competitiveness Bureau conducts a Roadshow to Seamless Philippine Logistics: Analysis of Logistics Performance to present the results of the survey completed last June 2017.

Logistics Efficiency Indicators (LEI) Assessment Project was launched by The Department of Trade and Industry’s Competitiveness Bureau, in partnership with the World Bank-International Finance Corporation (WB-IFC), the Board of Investments (BOI) and the Export Development Council (EDC).

The LEI Project is designed to develop measurement and baseline assessment of Philippine logistics cost, time efficiency and reliability of transporting goods/cargoes and services, which is critical for a meaningful policy formulation for the logistics and supply chain management sectors.

Results of the survey will be used in the Logistics Performance Index (LPI) by World Bank. LPI is an interactive benchmarking tool created to help countries identify the challenges and opportunities they face in their performance on trade logistics and what they can do to improve it.

DTI also invited their partners to present the current projects and advocacies that will highlight the government and private sector’s initiatives to improve the country’s overall logistics capability.

The roadshow was held in Puerto Princesa and La Union last September. More sessions will be held in Bacolod, Tuguegarao, Tacloban, Tagaytay and Bataan in October & November. Traders, especially exporters who want to participate may contact the DTI-SCLMD at +632 899 6247 or email at: sclm@dti.gov.ph / dti.sclmd@gmail.com. –Maria Jobellieza A. Alzate

Mindanao and Cebu exporters input to PEDP 2018-2022

Mindanao and Cebu exporters provided inputs to the next Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2018-2022

The exporters underscored the need to increase government budget to finance exporters’ participation in international trade fairs and have bigger and more presentable Philippine booths to be at par with exporters of other ASEAN countries.

They also requested to intensify government information dissemination programs to communicate new and repealed regulations to prevent confusion among government officials and exporters regarding export clearances.

They also need information on potential local suppliers. DTI encouraged exporters to always visit the DTI website (http://www.tradelinephilippines.dti.gov.ph/), specifically Tradeline Philippines which contains trade data and a facility to match would-be and existing exporters with potential foreign buyers and local suppliers.

Other recommendations include Filipino product branding, lowering of logistics and power costs, addressing the issue on the overlapping of regulations and automating government transactions.

These inputs were gathered during the recent Focus Group Discussions (FGD) for the PEDP 2018-2022 in Cebu and Davao attended by various sectors from handicraft, shell, agrimarine products, food, banana, cacao, furniture, lifestyle products and activated carbon. The next FGD will be conducted with the services sector specifically IT-BPM, audiovisual, animation, franchising and retailing and tourism and travel-related services. –Asnia R. Bayao

Factoring and Crowdsourcing your way to Financing

To address the need of the export sector for innovative financing options, factoring and crowdsourcing platforms were introduced in a seminar conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry- Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), in collaboration with the Export Development Council and PHILEXPORT under the Philippine Export Competitiveness Program (PECP).

Factoring is a financial transaction and a type of debtor finance in which a business sells its accounts receivables, i.e., invoices to a third party (called a factor) at a discount. Factoring is not the same as invoice discounting. Factoring is the sale of receivables, whereas invoice discounting is a borrowing that involves the use of accounts receivable assets as collateral for the loan. Export factoring on the other hand, is a package that encompasses credit protection, export working capital financing, foreign accounts receivable bookkeeping and collection services. The financier (factor, which usually are the banks) will purchase accounts receivable of invoices, which are raised once the seller (exporter) ships the goods to the buyer. Factoring was discussed by Mr. Etienne Von de Bogaert of the Eurofin Asia Group Pte Ltd., a company based in Singapore.

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the internet. Crowdfunding offers a chance of success for MSMEs by showcasing their businesses and projects to the entire world. Crowdsourcing was discussed by Mr. Edison Tsai of New Union.

DTI-EMB regularly conducts these information sessions through its Philippine Export Competitiveness Program (PECP)featuring current concerns of exporters. For more details and updates on topics, contact DTI-EMB at telephone number 465-3300 loc. 109 or email to exponent@dti.gov.ph.-Grace T. Mirasol